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Day 12 of 26 :: Prepare him room.



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There was a census happening in Bethlehem. 

Joseph was required to take part, which led Mary and him to travel into the small town during the last few months of her pregnancy.

You know the next part: the inn was full. 

I grew up believing this was a “gasp” moment in the story. The inn is full?!?! But Jesus is about to be born?!? HOW?!?!?!

We have to adjust our lens on this story to realize the inn was likely considered to be the “it” spot in Bethlehem. The hotel everyone wanted to stay at. This would be the first place to run out of space (or reservations) when people came from out of town for some big occasion. 

The census, as you can imagine, was a big occasion. 


Imagine trying to get a room at a hotel in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. That’s what we are talking about here: there was expected to be no vacancies. 

I say all of this because we are often shocked that the innkeeper would turn Mary and Joseph away. We paint this picture in our brains of the two coming in from the cold and begging the innkeeper to take them in. In reality, it was summer (so not freezing outside) and it was probably not surprising to Mary or Joseph that the inn had no availability for them. 

I think we too readily see Joseph as some passive dude who hauls his 9-month pregnant wife on a donkey into Bethlehem, cowers at the interaction with the innkeeper who sends them away, and then sets her up in the middle of a mud pit beside a cow and a pig to give birth. 

This wasn’t the story. 

When Joseph picked the stable, scholars say he was actually picking a place that, during biblical times, was just as suitable as a room at the inn. He was an upstanding middle-class citizen and it is likely that people in the town of Bethlehem knew of his lineage coming down from David. This wouldn’t be a society that discounted him or didn’t think to make room for him. 

He also got himself and Mary to Bethlehem with plenty of time to spare. When Joseph got Mary to that stable, they set up home. 

They made space. 

They made themselves comfortable. 

They prepared. 

They waited on the baby to arrive. 

I have to remind myself of this or else I will get stuck thinking there was no room for the baby Jesus and so he was exiled to a stable. 


Quite the opposite— there was room. 

There was space. 

There was margin. 

Sure, it wasn’t considered extravagant or what you would normally expect for a king but it was two people making space for what was to come. 

I think we have to take a good look at our hearts and ask a tough question: have I made space this year? 

Have you made space this season? 

Is there room in your life for Jesus to come in and change everything? 


Today’s message is simple but hard to put in action: We must transform our hearts into little stables. 

We must prepare him room.

We must create a space inside of ourselves to behold the wonder.

If there is no space made for Jesus in our lives than how can we expect to feel anything but parched? If we refuse to create margin for the living waters to flow in our lives then we will only ever be thirsty and tired throughout the rest of December. 

Yes, the season is in full swing. 

Yes, we are getting there. 

But if you look in your heart today and you think to yourself that something is wrong and you have made no space for the most important part of this season, then it might be time to shift some things around. 

There is still time to make room. 

There is still time to clear the space and join in the waiting on a miracle.


Luke 2:1-5



Dear God, this season is slipping by and I don’t want to miss the most important parts. Help me to make room in my heart. As we prepare for the birth of Jesus, help me prepare him ample room to spread out and take over.




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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


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